One of my goals for this ethical shopping adventure was to avoid buying thoughtlessly from ‘Big Pharma’ companies, partly because I disagree with some of their lobbying tactics and partly because I want to support smaller companies trying to provide alternatives.
So far I’ve found several great places to buy handmade, natural soaps (see here for details about one of them) and I am currently experimenting with some organic, fair trade cleaning products…article coming soon about that little project. Some products have been stumping me though, one of them being toothpaste.
There are, of course, a number of ‘natural’ toothpastes on the market. The problem I have discovered is that most of their manufacturers seem to believe that fluoride is the source of all the world’s woes, from widespread cancer to the assassination of JFK.
I on the other hand, as a nocturnal teethgrinder (yes – yuck, I know!), believe that fluoride is my friend; the only thing between me and a mouthful of expensive crowns where I have worn away my tooth enamel. Lucky me then when I popped into the lovely Granola in Sant Pere for some Call Valls fruit juice (more about these local fruit growers another time) to discover that they stock a range of products by German cosmetics company ‘Lavera’, including *hooray!* a toothpaste containing fluoride:On further investigation Lavera seem to be a good source of cosmetics for anyone with sensitive skin and/or concerned about the ingredients in their health & beauty products. Their website is excellent, listing all the ingredients they use with a brief description of each and how it is sourced. Even if you don’t buy from them, it’s a useful place to learn about the ‘small print’ ingredients that appear in so many of the lotions and potions that we spray, squirt and smear on ourselves!
The toothpaste contains a pretty basic set of ingredients including a mint flavouring (organic!)…not overwhelming in a Colgate-style firey peppermint way but enough to give you a fresh feeling. It also includes titanium dioxide as a mildly abrasive stain-removing/whitening agent, which might put some people off, but as I get a much higher dose of TD via the sun creams I slather on myself from May to September I can’t say it bothers me.
I suppose I should really be using a neem stick or some kind of baking-soda and tea-tree mixture to clean my teeth in order to avoid mass manufacturing and chemical ingredients, but frankly I have my limits, and the lovely Lavera falls nicely within them.
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